Fort Bragg in Mendocino County on the northern coast of California was home to The Living Children, an outfit who formed in the summer of 1966, though their roots can be traced back to surf band KW and The Evils earlier in the decade. The band apparently took their name from the song ‘Living Child’ by their friends The Boy Blues from Chico, and having won a Battle of the Bands contest at the 1966 California State Fair in Sacramento played gigs across the state.
Both sides of their only single were written by singer and guitarist David Green and recorded at Golden State Recorders in San Francisco. The 45 was released in March 1968 on MTA Records (also home to a couple of fine singles by The Flying Circus from San Anselmo, CA).
The Rolling Stones influenced ‘Crystalize Your Mind’ has a great main riff and pulsing bassline, and lyrics inspired by the Haight district of San Francisco that sound a note of caution about the love generation lifestyle – “keep on dropping, baby, gonna blow your mind”.
‘Crystalize Your Mind’
Good as ‘Crystalize Your Mind’ is, flip ‘Now It’s Over’ might well be the superior side. It is a moody ballad with an air of The Byrds about it, with hushed, melancholic vocals and a simple guitar break that fits perfectly with the downbeat atmosphere of the song.
‘Now It’s Over’
Departures from the group lead to a change of name to Truman Capote but no further material was released.
Reissues: Both sides of the single are on Garage Beat ’66 Volume 3, or alternatively Nuggets From the Golden State: Crystalize Your Mind.